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Mobile

  • Can mobile remittances fix the industry’s image problem?

    Remittances are an important part of the global economy, with more than US$586-billion sent across international borders in 2015 alone. While tech has done incredible things for the space in recent years, it seems that mobile remittance services especially have an image problem. According to a survey from Amdocs, released this week, as many as 82% of people using services currently offered by existing players such as money transfer operators (MTOs) and banks, are dissatisfied and that 83% of respondents in developed countries -- United States, United Kingdom, and Germany -- are willing to send money internationally using mobile...

  • Viber brings Public Chats to South Africa, rest of MEA

    Instant messaging and calling app Viber on Tuesday announced the launch of its Public Chats feature across Africa and the Middle East. Public Chats are live discussions that Viber users can follow, like and share with their community. Released in beta version in November 2014 with select global partners, this feature allows users to tap into live conversations from celebrities, personalities, brands and organisations. According to Viber, the feature also allows users to discover new communities, follow interactive chats in real-time and share original pieces of content with friends and contacts. "The Middle East and Africa are important markets for...

  • The big why around using different devices

    Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) responsive, and multi-device are just some words that today are part of our lives. Multi-device strategies are devised and policies are prepared for BYOD. The use of different devices has led to a whole new way of working. Gartner predicts that by 2018 more than half of users will be using a tablet or smartphone for all online activities rather than the traditional laptop or desktop. But to what extent do we actually stand still by the role of different devices? Why and when do business users actually switch between tablet, smartphone or computer?...

  • Attempts to regulate WhatsApp, other OTTs could get ludicrous

    If South Africa's biggest mobile networks get their way, over the top (OTT) services such as WhatsApp could soon be regulated. According to Fin24, parliamentary hearings have been set for later this month aimed at exploring "necessary policy interventions on how to govern OTTs, regulatory interventions on the guidelines to regulate OTTs" and the "impact of OTTs on competition". The hearings, which will take place under the remit of the the Portfolio Committee on Telecommunications and Postal Services will also discuss, whether "there (is) a need for the OTTs to be defined as telecom services (voice or data) or telecom...

  • Thanks to the Moto X, we’re in the middle of a budget device revolution

    When Motorola launched the original Moto X in 2013 the mobile world changed forever. It was compact, running the latest version of Android and added a number of extremely useful features to the OS without any of the much-dreaded bloat. Sure, the camera wasn’t great, neither was the battery life, or its eventual upgrade path, but it’s safe to say that the Moto X changed the mobile landscape. It’s also important to note that while all this innovation was happening, Google still owned Motorola. When the Moto X launched it brought a premium experience to a budget driven customer,...

  • The State of Mobile: personalisation apps, phablets on the rise

    Mobile app usage continues to see serious growth, with the rise of phablet-sized devices allowing mobile to eat up an increasingly large proportion of the media industry. Those are some of the key findings from Flurry's latest State of Mobile report. According to Flurry, overall app usage grew by 58% in 2015. With the exception of Games, every app category posted year-over-year growth with Personalisation, News & Magazines and Productivity leading the way with triple-digit growth. What's promising is that much of that growth appears to have come from existing smartphone users. Right now Flurry tracks more than 2.1-billion smart...

  • Size is an increasingly large pain-point when buying a new smartphone

    When it comes to getting a new phone these days, there are a bunch of hurdles to negate. The biggest of which, is literally, the size of devices. My significant other is due an upgrade, a simple task you’d imagine, especially when considering she only has two pre-requisites. Firstly, it mustn’t be an iPhone, and secondly, it shouldn’t be a whale of a handset. So off we marched on a Sunday morning, little did we know what an absolute nightmare it would be. If you have small hands and are looking for a smartphone that you can use with...

  • What lessons can we learn from East Africa’s mobile money developments?

    With more than one billion consumers, Africa is a continent of rising influence and potential. In East Africa, specifically in Kenya, mobile money has boosted the economy, revolutionized retail, and changed how people shop and pay for goods and services. Nine out of ten adults now have a mobile money account, whereas a few years ago the bulk of the population had no access to formal financial services or even a traditional bank account. At 85% penetration, mobile phones have become an important element of daily life. While text messaging is most popular, mobile commerce – at 43 percent penetration...

  • How the humble SIM card can enhance your international guests’ travel experience

    Operators are under increased pressure to find innovative ways to differentiate themselves and provide a superior experience to visitors. The humble SIM card could be one of the keys in this. International tour groups visiting the country have to go through a timeous process of buying a prepaid SIM card, ensuring they have the required documents with them while travelling to get it activated and RICA’d, and then still figuring out how to load airtime or data on it. Tour operators: Imagine having the ability to streamline the process and have an easy way of activating and pre-loading SIMs...

  • WorldRemit, Zazoo team up for instant money transfers to SA

    Global remittance service has announced a partnership with mobile payments company Zazoo which it says will better enable instant money transfers to South Africa. WorldRemit’s online service lets people send money to friends and family using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, anytime, anywhere. Headquartered in London, WorldRemit is currently available for people in 52 countries, sending to more than 125 destinations around the world. "For many South Africans, sending money home used to come at a substantial cost – excessive fees, queuing in line at high-street transfer agents, and waiting for days for a transfer to arrive," says Richard Meseko,...

  • The Internet of Things is here, and it will revolve around the smartphone

    The falling prices and shrinking sizes of computer processors and sensors, coupled with a proliferation of mobile connectivity, is spurring the rapid growth of the Internet of Things (IoT). As connected cars, connected homes, and connected workplaces join the IoT, devices such as smartphones, tablet computers and smartwatches will serve as the primary interfaces through which people interact with IoT devices and equipment. The IoT is a network of intelligent devices and machines that can monitor themselves as well as gather contextual information (temperature or GPS location, for example) using sensors, and share it with other devices and services....

  • Universal log-ins: the next big revenue spinner for mobile operators?

    Speak to the heads of mobile operators and they'll tell you life isn't easy right now. As far as they're concerned, over the top players are out to kill their traditional revenue streams, turning them into dumb data pipes. Those that survive will be the ones which find new ways of generating revenue. One possible way of doing so is through new universal log-in and mobile identity services. According to Juniper Research, these services currently generate around US$20-million a year, but could grow to be worth as much as US$700-million annually by 2020. That growth, it says, is largely...

  • Vodacom Smart 6 review: not quite six of the best

    Budget Android phones have really changed the smartphone market for the better. Not only do they force manufacturers to launch cheaper but better phones, they also give consumers a fairly decent alternative to the overkill flagship and mid-range devices. Vodacom’s one of the pioneers of this movement in South Africa most notably with the Smart Kicka, a R499 phone that could almost kick it with the big boys in terms of app availability. Not everyone wants to spend R5000 plus on a smartphone, and these give consumers a viable alternative.

  • Samsung holds steady, Huawei gains on Apple in latest smartphone sales figures

    Despite the pressures faced by Samsung, the Korean electronics giant continues to dominate the global smartphone space as Huawei makes up ground on Apple. That's according to the latest stats from technology research house Gartner, which also suggest that the global smartphone market is in no danger of slowing down any time soon. According to Gartner, global sales of smartphones to end users totaled 353-million units, a 15.5% growth over the same period in 2014. It's that growing market which allowed Samsung to retain top spot in the global smartphone stakes despite losing market share. Apple's rival-in-chief now...

  • Google Search now allows you to star, bookmark images

    Google Search is receiving a new feature. As it matures, it can only get better, and Google appears to be committed to seeing this happen. In the latest update, Google has introduced a new feature to mobile searches that allows users to bookmark images from their mobile browser. It's basically a Pinterest for Google Search. For the feature to work, users need to be logged into a Google account. The process of doing so is seamless too. When a user finds an image they want to save, all they have to do is to select and star it and the image will...